Carry Your Burdens to Find Light at the End of the Tunnel
Matthew 16:24-26 “24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
Mark 8:34 “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
What does it mean to pick up your cross and follow Christ? The walk with Jesus as our Lord and Savior is never an easy one. We are called to sacrifice our earthly desires, called to love Christ and let go of our sinful desires. Do we deny God; do we deny our Lord and Savior when pushed, when threatened with reprisals, or persecution? Do we have the fortitude to bare the burden of what it means to be a follower of Christ? Remember as the 11 Apostils followed Christ were brutally tortured and killed for it. Amongst strong opposition they never waivered in their faith, they saw Christ for what he was, they saw Him in the flesh. It was once said, “You have seen with your own eyes and yet you doubt, imagine those who will never see.” Colossians 1:11-12 “11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” The cross is not a race; it’s a long marathon. The travel takes time. The travel takes fortitude.
When we are weak, we must look to God to help us. As Christians we must help our brother and sisters when they are in need. We all stumble on our journey. Even Christ fell on his trek to meet His destiny. Thus teaching us another lesion about humility, about pride. Galatians 6:2 “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” If Christ was willing to bare the sacrifice for all mankind’s Sins what are we willing to bare for Christ? Are we willing to take public ridicule, or even worse loosing people we care about? What is eternal salvation worth? The life we spend here on Earth is merely a short while, but the end result is perfection in Heaven. Our burdens will be great, John 15:18-21 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” It was foretold that the world would turn on Christians. It was foretold that the life of a Christian would be difficult and full of anger and hatred.
Entering Easter remember what it truly means to give it all, to give up life, and sacrifice ones self for something bigger then yourself. Are you truly giving up something to follow Christ? Are you truly in your heart following? What does following Christ mean to you? As Christians we face more opposition today then we ever have. Do we sit silent and watch as the world tries to snuff out any last resemblance of our right to choose what we believe in? There’s too much empirical evidence to prove Jesus Christ the man lived. Denying the truth is simply the same as denying the oceans are full of water. 11 men could not have held together some conspiracy. The fulfillment of scripture prior to the New Testament, the fulfillment of the crucifixion, that not one of Christ’s bones were broken, yet he underwent excruciating amounts of pain. Do not doubt, do not forget what’s at stake. Christ bore the burden of sin for us, what can we do to possibly measure up, nothing. All we are asked is to love one another, love Christ, love God, and obey the commandments. Do this and eternity may very well be yours.